Wednesday and Thursday

January 14 and 15

So, our daily blogs have turned into every other day blogs, but there is a very good reason for that, we have been busy working! God has blessed us with many, many opportunities to serve and teach here at Bugando Medical Center.

Sarah was in the ICU the past 2 days, she enjoyed getting to know the staff and caring for the many critically ill patients.  In addition, today she gave a brief lecture on identifying sepsis and the priorities in caring for septic patients.  The staff seemed to appreciate and benefit from the lecture.  In addition to the lecture, Sarah has had many opportunities to provide teaching and encouragement to the ICU staff.  She has been overwhelmed by the challenges that these nurses face every day.  For example, for the first 4 hours of the shift today, there was no thermometer in the unit.  Eventually, one of the nurses was able to get one from another unit, but that one thermometer had to be shared among all the patients.  In addition, the situations of many of the patients are incredibly sad.  The past few days Sarah had been caring for a 5 month old baby following an abdominal surgery.  The child was admitted to the adult ICU because there were no beds available in the pediatric ICU.  The nurses and doctors were doing the best that they could for this child; however, the child took a turn for the worse during the night and passed away.  Sarah was very discouraged and heartbroken to return to the ICU this morning and discover this.  Please pray for this child's mother and other family members as they mourn this precious child of God.  Also, today there was a 5 year old boy admitted with meningitis, malaria, sepsis, and severe anemia.  His blood count was dangerously low and his vital signs were not stable, but there was no blood available for this child.  This is just one example of many patients who are in need of blood, but it is unavailable.  Several patients are unable to have necessary operations because their blood counts are low and there is no available blood.  Despite the incredible challenges that all the healthcare providers in this area face, they provide the best possible care that they can with the resources that are available to them.  These nurses and doctors are eager to learn more and have more resources available; however, in the mean time, they work hard with good attitudes.  Thank you to all our donors who have enabled us to provide some much-needed medical equipment!  These are clearly a blessing to the staff and patients.  Please pray for the incredible staff at Bugando–that God would bless their efforts and encourage their spirits as they practice His healing ministry.  Please also pray for the patients and their family members.  Pray that the right resources would become available and that God would strengthen and heal their bodies!  Thank you for being a part of Hope Ministries through your many prayers and words of encouragement, they are much-needed and greatly appreciated!  You are a blessing!
Cheryl spent wednesday on the labor and delivery unit. It was a huge blessing to witness the birth of twins. She had never seen this before. She worked with a nursing student to care for a woman who was in labor with her first baby and had come in with complications. We spent a good part of the day helping her by encouraging her to breathe through contractions and keeping the IV going. She ended up going for a c-section as Cheryl was leaving. She found out the next day the baby was born and mom and baby were both doing well praise God! She did witness a complicated delivery where they used the vacuum to assist, it was  manual vacuum and the med student had to keep pumping to keep vacuum working. Praise God they got the baby out, it required some help breathing at first but then seemed to be doing better. The Dr. was trying to prevent from doing c-section since it was her first child. He did the best he could with the equipment available. On thursday she went to Oncology to help with Chemotherapy patients. She assisted the students with calculating drip rates and drawing up dosages of chemo for the patients. The students are very independent here and given a great deal of responsibility. She gave stickers to the children that were there for chemo. Unfortunately the pt's have to buy the chemo and fluids and bring them to the unit before they are administered. Some can't afford the whole dosage or all the meds so they just give what they have available to give. This is the theme of health care here. You make do with what you have. The people are creative and innovative to make things work the best they know how. This is true with not just health care but daily life. We see hand carts made from metal cages and bicycle wheels daily. We are very spoiled in the US with all the available products and comforts that we view as necessities. Praise God the people here don't just sit around and complain about what they don't have but take what they have and make it work. Pray for good opportunities to serve The Lord tomorrow our last day at Bugando. Thanks for all the prayers. 

Wow the last 2 days have been incredible.  Thank God for giving guidance and strength to do your work.  Mark and i went to do patient rounds on Wednesday am so we could consult with the doctors, interns and medical students.  What a blessing to provide lasting changes by providing them knowledge.  Mark is an awesome teacher and very patient and kind.  We then went to the orthopedic clinic.  There was other ortho doctors there and you could not believe the line of patients.  Dr. Isidor requested certain patients so he could consult with Mark.  I just cannot believe the horrible trauma accidents here.  We do not see this in the states.  God has been good about putting key team members in the right place at the right time.  We went to OR and did some complicated cases.  Sometimes they do not have all the equipment that they need but you know I learn from them too.  These patients bear so much pain with no complaints.  I so love it when we meet physicians and other and they are so friendly and greet us.   Dr. Isidor has seen that I have you the TIME-OUT system in other hospitals.  So he asked if I would help him do that in his OR rooms.  The first things we do is pray for the patients.  It was so awesome and they liked it so when I return home I will type it and send to him.  Through this system the one patient had not been given his antibiotics preoperatively, so the staff saw first hand how this system works.  Praise God!  

Today Mark and I went to a continuing educational session on mass cacualty.  Many of it was not realistic and we pray that they gathered a few pointers from the lecturer.  Then we went to the ward to visit the patients that we did surgery on this week and make sure they were doing fine and then consulted with some new patients that we are doing surgery on tomorrow.  Mark then did an orthopedic teaching to the medical students with a power point and they were so grateful and wanted copies of them.  

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank all who support Hope Ministries.  May you be blessed.  You have touched so many lives.  Tomorrow is our last day at Bugando and we are excited to return home but sad to leave our friends here.  Please pray for us tomorrow and then we will fly back to Arusha on Saturday. 

Sending a lot of hugs, prayers and thanks!!!!!  Gayle